The Cure for Worry, Stress & Anxiety

Sermon March 24, 2019


Introduction

Have you ever been on the Blue Ridge Parkway when it was really foggy? It may have started as a little fog but then before you realized it all you could see is the fog and you were struggling to see even a little bit of the road. That’s what worry is like.

Arthur Roche said, “Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”

I’m sure if asked, each person in here today could give a laundry list of troubles. We know the Bible teaches us as Christians we aren’t exempt from troubles and we shouldn’t be surprised when troubles come. In fact Jesus told his disciples in John 16:22, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

But many Christians still deal with anxiety, worry, distress, agitation, tension, irritability. These are words that describe a feeling of an inner turmoil that result in a feeling of outward uneasiness. This is the feeling that brings on the fog that consumes us and causes us to lose focus on everything else around us.

Today were going to examine what Jesus said about worry and how he didn’t just suggest we don’t worry but why he commanded us to not worry. We’ll also learn the cure for worry and how to live a life of peace.

Scripture Matthew 6:25-34

 

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

 

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

 

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Don’t Worry

This is another portion Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. In this short passage he commands us three times “Don’t Worry!” The way He said it shows the fullness of His charge.

In verse 25 He acknowledges worry as a common practice and says, “Stop worrying;” in verses 31 and 34 He uses the same word, but in a way that means “Don’t even start worrying.” To continue worrying about anything, or to start worrying in the first place, is to break the Lord’s command.

According to Jesus in verse 30 if you worry it’s because you have “little faith”.

Think about it this way: Christians who worry believe God can redeem them, break the shackles of Satan, take them from hell to heaven, put them into His kingdom, and give them eternal life, but just don’t think He can get them through the next couple of days. That is pretty ridiculous, isn’t it? That we can believe God for the greater gift and then stumble and not believe Him for the lesser one reveals an embarrassing lack of faith.

3 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Worry

  1. Because God said not to worry

Why do you think God doesn’t want us to worry? For one, God wants us to depend on Him for all our needs. That’s not all. God knows what worry does to us.

  • Worry diverts our attention
  • Worry challenges our faith
  • Worry affects us both physically and mentally
  • Worry clouds our judgment
  • Worry steals our joy
  1. Worrying achieves nothing

Verse 27 says, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”

Worrying never helps and it never changes anything. It’s a waste of our precious time and energy. 

  1. Today is enough

Verse 34: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Worry causes us to spend today thinking about tomorrow. The result is we lose today. Live in the moment. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t plan for tomorrow; we just shouldn’t worry about it. The Psalmist said, This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24)

How can I stop worrying?

The answer is found in verse 33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Put the Kingdom of God first in our life

How do I do that you might say? Focus on things that are important to God.

  • Make a commitment to attending church regularly
  • Study God’s Word
  • Fellowship with other believers
  • Help people who are in need
  • Tithe
Seek the righteousness of God

We know none of us is perfect but that doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to be Christ-like in our own lives and behaviors.

Ephesians 5:8 says, For at one time you were in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

We may have things in our lives we know we shouldn’t be doing. Stop! We may have told ourselves we don’t need to fellowship regularly with other Christians, it’s a lie. We do if we want to take advantage of God’s power and peace in our lives.

Conclusion

Do you understand that in order to take advantage of all that God has we need to follow the plan he has laid out for us in Scripture. We can’t pick and choose which parts of Christ’s teachings we want to adhere to and then expect to receive His full blessing in our lives. So many of us are struggling and we have convinced ourselves that we have tried God’s way and it doesn’t work however in truth we’ve really only tried pieces of his plan. If you are struggling with worry, anxiety or fear in your life, what do you have to lose? Why not commit to God’s ways in their entirety.

The Apostle John wrote, “The thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. But Jesus said I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Don’t settle for less than all that God has for you

~Amen


 

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